The Kurdish people are mourning the loss of Feyzoyê Rizo, a renowned Yazidi folksinger and poet (dengbêj in Kurdish), who died on Tuesday evening in Krasnodar in southern Russia.
The musician’s family, relatives and friends bade him farewell on Friday in the Kropotkinskaya district of Krasnodar.
Feyzoyê Rizo (Feyzo Amarov) was born in Armenia in 1954 to a Yazidi Kurdish family. His family had fled to Armenia in 1915 to escape the mass killings of Armenians, Christians and Yazidis in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
Rizo came from a family of artists and was known far beyond the Caucasus. He left a deep mark on the memory of the Kurdish people throughout the region by singing on the Kurdish section of Erîvan, Armenia’s public radio station, for many years.
In a message of condolence, the Kurdish Culture and Art Movement of Europe (TEV-ÇAND) described Feyzoyê Rizo as a “bridge between the old and the new folk songs”.
“He was a natural member of our artistic and cultural movement. He was loyal to the struggle for freedom to the last moment,” the organisation said. “With his humble personality and his art, he will forever remain a great asset.”
Rizo was diagnosed with stomach cancer two years ago and his condition had deteriorated in recent days.